The listening “twofer”

1 to 1. It’s the listening to action ratio. I heard this concept on a podcast recently. There is a lot to unpack with a comment like that. 

Here’s one angle. The interviewee was saying that listening without action ends up changing nothing. So, all listening has a required back end component of action to be truly worthwhile. 

The trick is this: If you haven’t been listening well, the resulting action may be way off the mark. Think of the cliched “garbage in, garbage out” model. 

Listening takes on new significance in this light. Listening well not only improves communication and relationships in the moment, it better informs the resultant action. You get a “twofer” when you improve the skill of listening. 

How can we get better? Here’s one tactic: Be fully present. You can’t listen and scroll Facebook. You can’t listen and think about other things. Other people in real life are worth your time and attention. Give them that gift.

by Jonathan Wilson

Jonathan is the Head Coach at Sandcastle Company, a Seattle-based leadership training organization. His first book, Future Leader: Rebooting Leadership to Win the Millennial and Tech Future [link], is now available. Jonathan regularly writes and speaks about The New Leader Way, leadership resilience, and the future of work. He has years of leadership experience in both the public and private sectors, a master's degree from Seattle University, and professional coach training from the University of Miami.

Filed under: Leadership

Published on May 20, 2019

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